Staff Market-Based Compensation
The University of Idaho uses a market-based compensation system to determine staff salaries. This website provides an overview of that process. More information is available through the Human Resources Office.
The market-based compensation system for staff was created in 2016 and 2017 and implemented on Dec. 31, 2017. Learn more about the Staff Compensation Task Force.
About Staff Market-Based Compensation
Salary administration at the University of Idaho is based primarily on market rates, or the average salary paid for a particular job. Each position has a market rate assigned to it based on the duties and responsibilities of that particular position.
U of I uses salary data available from the following surveys:
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which collects data with salary information from an eight-state region — Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
- The College and University Professional Association (CUPA). The CUPA data is based on both regional and national data for institutions with the same Carnegie designation (R2, Higher Research Activity) as the U of I.
See more information about how target salaries are calculated.
Beyond the market rate, there are five other factors used to develop staff target salaries. Those factors are:
- Minimum Compa-Ratio: The minimum compa-ratio is 80 percent of the market rate or greater, if the market data indicates the entry level is more than 80 percent.
- Education: Education is considered if the employee’s academic degree(s) exceeds the minimum required for the classification of the position.
- Prior Experience: Prior experience is considered when the employee’s previous work elsewhere was essentially the same as the current job. Not all prior experience related to a job counts, it must be the same job elsewhere before.
- Time-in-Service (TIS): TIS is a longevity/experience factor counted from the current benefits-eligible staff hire date with the university.
- Time-in-Position/Responsibility (TIP/R): TIP/R is longevity/experience factor counting the years doing the particular work assigned.
These values create a target compa-ratio, which is then multiplied by the market rate assigned to create a target salary. Human Resources establishes market rates and calculates target salaries for staff positions. This information is provided to supervisors responsible for making final salary decisions. See more information about how target salaries are calculated.
While the university aims to pay the calculated target salary, the creation of the target salary does not create an obligation on the part of the university. Other issues such as internal equity, availability of funds or employee performance may limit the university's ability to reach the target salary. Nevertheless, target salaries remain the primary basis for salary decisions.
While merit is not included in the target salary calculation, supervisors also consider performance in the salary-setting process. Target salary is an attempt to determine base pay and does not limit additional pay on the basis of merit/performance.
Classified and exempt staff may view their current target salaries in VandalWeb.
Supervisors can access a report of their team’s target pay by following the “My Team” tab after they navigate to their own target pay page.
Human Resources maintains the staff classification and compensation system by conducting ongoing review of salary data, updating market rates and reviewing individual — and groups of similar — positions for alignment with each other and with current federal job definitions.
The market rate of a staff position may change upon review of the duties and responsibilities of the position. This action may be initiated by Human Resources, the supervisor or unit management. Market rates also fluctuate up and down each year in response to changes in the salary data. When a market rate is decreased for a position, the salaries of current employees will not be reduced as a result.
The President may at his discretion change the relative weight of the factors used to calculate target salary in order to reflect changes in compensation philosophy.
As outlined in the Faculty-Staff Handbook policy 1420.A-2, the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President is responsible for the oversight of the faculty personnel system. Please refer to the Provost/EVP office regarding information and questions related to faculty employment.
The salary agreement defines the annual period of the appointment, change of agreement notice requirements, salary, pay periods, position title, employment status and such other information to define the contract of employment each year for faculty and exempt personnel.
Market rates and salaries for post-doctoral fellows are managed by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. Target salaries for postdoctoral fellows will not appear in VandalWeb.
Pay for student and temporary positions covers a range from the state minimum wage and up, depending upon the skills and experience required for the position. Pay ranges for temporary positions are decided upon and approved at the department level, depending upon departmental needs and budget. When determining pay or a pay increase for a temporary employee, please be sensitive to the pay rates of regular, ongoing staff performing similar work and/or working in similar proximity.